I LOVE this homemade laundry detergent!
Cast of Characters:
Borox, Washing Soda, Octagon Soap, Essential Oil (lavender)
*Update #1: You can make your own washing soda by baking your baking soda in a 250degree oven for 1 hour.
*Update #2: Since originally writing this post, I have switched to plain old Ivory soap. It's cheaper and I'm happier with the results.
I had a Whittling Chip card carrying Cub Scout shave the bar of soap for me. I've seen the recipe done with ZOTE, FelsNaptha, and Kirk's Castile soaps. I could find none of those. I did find Octagon at Food Lion. It smells nice (sort of lemon grassy).
We dumped our shavings into a 5 gallon bucket and poured a large pot of boiling water over top and stirred until the soap was completely melted.
Then we mixed in 2 cups of washing soda and 2 cups of borox and stirred. It got nice and fizzy.
The boys poured another pot of cold water into the bucket.
While it was cooling I added about 15 drops of the essential oil. I might have been just a tad more generous than that...I'm married to a smells man.
Then we filled the bucket the rest of the way to the top with cold water.
Then end result is about 5 gallons of really nice smelling laundry soap.
$3.36 Borox (whitener and deoderizer)
$2.16 Washing Soda (dirt remover and deoderizer)
$.90 Octagon Soap (stain remover)
$6.42 Total to get started. I have enough Borox and washing soda to make 4 more 5 gallon batches. It comes to about 2 cents per load, if I only use 1 cup.
The essential oil, I already had. I *think* I spent about $5.00 on it, give or take, and used so little of it.
I have washed and dried our first load and it passed Leon's smell test. I would have added more lavender if it didn't.